We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that if you read the internet, you also sometimes read off the internet, on these printed things called “pages” which are sometimes collected together in one convenient volume known as a “book.” To that end, here are four books about metal we greatly enjoyed this year.

BEST METAL BOOKS OF 2008Swedish Death Metal by Daniel Ekeroth (Bazillion Points)

FYI, Bazillion Points is Ian Christe’s imprint. Ian Christe wrote Sound of the Beast, which is a sweet history of metal, and Everybody Wants Some, which is a sweet history of Van Halen. I think it’s good to know things like that, ’cause it makes it easier to know when something will be sweet or not.

ANYWAY. About the book: imagine Albert Mudrian’s Choosing Death but about one specific scene, and that scene is the Swedish death metal scene, which many critics would argue is the very best possible scene from which to be. And now imagine that the pages are glossy. And now imagine that the author was a first hand participant in the events described. Now go buy the book.

BEST METAL BOOKS OF 200833 1/3: Reign in Blood by D.X. Ferris (Continuum)

Okay, so this is basically the best possible in-depth look you could ever have at one of the single greatest works of art in any medium, ever. Actually, fuck that: I wish it were longer, just like I always kinda wish Reign in Blood could go on longer.

Ferris got everyone and their mother to spill their guts about the album, whether they were directly involved in it or are just a professional admirer. All four members of the band, producer Rick Rubin, engineer Andy Wallace, cover artist Larry Carroll, Gene Hoglan, Tori Amos… everyone. Read my interview with D.X. Ferris, then go buy the book.

BEST METAL BOOKS OF 200833 1/3: Master of Reality by John Darnielle (Continuum)

We don’t own stock in Continuum. Seriously. They just happen to finally put out some metal books this year, and those books happened to be pretty friggin’ good.

SO. This isn’t as straightforward as the other books on the list. It’s written from the point of view of a teenager in a mental hospital. Like, you’re reading his journal. Picture Catcher in the Rye if Holden Caulfield loved Sabbath. And pot. Oh, all hail the sweet leaf.

And all hail this book. It’s a pretty interesting way to approach the material. Go buy it.

BEST METAL BOOKS OF 2008Pure Murder by Corey Mitchell (Pinnacle)

Shameless plug for a member of the MetalSucks Militia. But, seriously. You’ve read Corey’s stuff, right? He’s awesome. And he’s the only inhabitant of the MetalSucks Mansion to have a book published. So go buy the book.


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